Monday, August 13, 2007

Tally ho!

Today in the UK, there is a story rolling around in the news-bucket about a video that has been made by some ex-pupils from a public school (Non-Empire Citizens, this means a private school. Sorry, I don’t make the rules, just report them in all their idiocy). In this video, some youths are getting ready for the hunt. This involves sitting on a horse in a red coat, being terribly posh and sipping champagne. They then set out on the hunt for what would normally be a fox or other small and generally insignificant creature (I use that in the sense of scale, not worth).

What’s different this time is that they are out hunting chavs. Chasing them across fields (though I wouldn’t imagine that a genuine chav has any idea what a field actually is) and eventually gunning them down in glorious slow motion. Well, the last bit is actually just them leaping about a bit. There’s no blood. Pity...

This has, in typical British fashion, caused a furore among the chattering classes who, when confronted with any perceived dig at the proles, react with wide-eyed (and tiresomely predictable) outrage.

The big problem with this reaction is twofold.
  1. The video was made by kids from (relatively) privileged backgrounds, yet the kids playing the chavs (let’s not forget that this is FICTION, by the way) are also from the same school. It was done to raise a few laughs and is not the beginning of some kind of class war. If there was one afoot, I’d contend that it had already been started by the chavs and the middle- to upper-classes had only just realised they ought to turn up and do something.
  2. This story broke in the same week that a father of three was beaten to death by teenagers outside his own home, after attempting to get them to stop breaking windows in the digger parked in his own driveway.
So, I think there might just be a problem of perspective on the part of “outraged of Islington”. Once the scruffy herberts who think that ‘violence proves you’re a man’ stop acting like packs of wild dogs on the streets, perhaps the odd humorous video might be seen as just that and not the end of the world (yet again).

I thought it was rather well-made actually. A couple of pieces to look out for: When one of the chavs is pinned down on the ground, the solitary “hunt dog” is giving his arm a friendly licking rather than being terribly savage in any way, and the occasional giggling going on by the “chavs” as they run past the camera. Nice choice of music too.

I have to wonder, had this been a sketch on Rory Bremner’s show, Catherine Tate’s, or the redoubtable John Stewart’s Daily Show whether it would have caused any outrage whatsoever. Guess that’s the power of celebrity - we can’t have amateurs knocking this stuff out, can we?


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